What can you do?
Alien species may be introduced into a new environment either intentionally or unintentionally. Should such species manage to survive, reproduce and spread throughout its new territory it could cause harm to the environment, human health or the economy. The most cost-effective and environmentally desirable action against invasive alien species (IAS) is preventing such species from entering the natural environment. Preventive measures for intentional introductions could include restrictions on their import, movement or use; the undertaking of risk assessments, and having adequate border controls.
On the other hand, unintentional introductions (which may involve escapes, contaminants, stowaways or hitchhikers) are much harder and challenging to prevent. The best way of preventing such introductions is through the identification of their pathways of introduction and spread, and addressing such means of introduction. In line with the provisions of the EU IAS Regulations, ERA has drafted an action plan to address pathways of unintentional introduction and spread for invasive alien species of Union concern.
Despite, having appropriate preventive measures in place it is not always possible to avert the introduction of invasive alien species. The detection of introduced species at an early stage of establishment is considered to be of essence as this increases the chances of eradication.
To this end, ERA adapted the Invasive Alien Species in Europe app to the local Maltese environment with detailed information and photos of the IAS of European and local concern, making it possible for anyone to capture images of these species and submit a report including location and any relevant complementary information, using their own mobile phones’ GPS system and camera. ERA urges the public to start using this app which will help win the battle against invasive alien species not only in Malta, but also in Europe in general.
The public is therefore encouraged to report to ERA on the locations of invasive alien species of EU or national concern that are detected in the environment.
- European Commission brochure (2020) – Invasive alien species of Union Concern
- European Commission brochure (2016/2017) – Invasive alien species of Union concern
- ERA automatic update form – Restriction of prohibited species
- ERA IAS leaflet – Stop the spread (2020)
- ERA IAS letter – New restrictions on a number of animals & plants (2020)
- Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 – Prevention & Management of the Introduction & Spread of Invasive Alien Species
- S.L. 549.119 – Control of Invasive Alien Species of European Union Concern Regulations
- S.L. 549.44 – Flora, Fauna & Natural Habitats Protection Regulations